Anne Tells of Prince Philip's Softer Side

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Byline: Paul Revoir TV Correspondent

HE is often seen as the gruff, grumpy and gaffe-prone royal who does not suffer fools gladly.

But Prince Philip's softer side has been revealed by Princess Anne, who has described the dedicated father who would read bedtime stories to her and play 'chasing games' when she was young.

The Princess Royal said the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen both took part in games with their children in a period when 'families made their own play', adding: 'They were both very quick.' Her comments come in an ITV1 documentary called Prince Philip at 90, to be shown next Tuesday.

Royal biographer Gyles Brandreth tells the programme that Philip once suggested to him that his son Charles thinks of him as 'unfeeling'.

However Anne, 60, whose comments are quoted in this week's Radio Times, recalled that despite her father's busy lifestyle during her childhood he 'made efforts' to be there on a 'regular basis' at bedtime.

She added: 'Bedtime stories are things that children probably don't get so much nowadays but were very important in my day. …